USC University of Southern California

Building Capacity and Welcoming Practices In Military-Connected Schools

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Veterans and Military Members Honored by School

Here's what one Los Angeles-area school did to recognize and thank veterans and active duty members of the military this Veterans Day. The students at Tetzlaf Middle School in the ABC Unified School District devoted two editions of their "Livein5" TV news broadcast to the school's observance of Veterans Day.
In one segment, USC MSW interns Jose Campos and Gigi Halim​ talked about what it means to create a "pride board," and in the other segment, Jose and school staff member "Roco" talked about their military service.
The videos demonstrate how schools can honor the contributions of our military service members as part of their regular practices--not just on Veterans Day, but all year.
Pride Wall On-Campus

Jose's military experiences

Building Capacity Consortium Wins National Partnership Award

The Building Capacity Consortium has received a 2014 LTG (Ret) H.G. "Pete" Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award in the category of Exemplary Higher Education Partnerships. Given by the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC), the award was presented July 30 at this year’s National Training Seminar in Washington.
The honor recognizes outstanding teacher preparation programs and celebrates collaboration among higher education institutions, public school districts and military installations.
Accepting the award on behalf of the Consortium were: Dr. Ron Astor, USC professor of social work and education; Bonsall Union School District Superintendent Dr. Justin Cunningham; Chula Vista Elementary School District Superintendent Dr. Francisco Escobedo; Diana Pineda, the Building Capacity project manager in San Diego, and Monica Esqueda, a doctoral candidate in the Rossier School of Education. Fatimah Dozier of the Department of Defense Education Activity was also present at the ceremony. Click here to read more.

Development Under Way for Welcoming Practices App And Website

Using technology to smooth the school transition process for families is a major component of the new Welcoming Practices partnership grant to USC and a Consortium of five school districts. And developing that technology has become a widespread, cooperative effort that is involving multiple partners across Southern California. The Welcoming Practices team in the School of Social Work is collaborating with web and mobile app design experts in the Viterbi School of Engineering to develop both an online student enrollment system as well as an app that will provide families with the resources their students need to successfully transition between schools.
Transition teams in the Consortium districts are also actively participating by collaborating on the website and app design as well as helping to provide links to resources that will be available from the app. Read the rest of the story in our March newsletter.

Building Capacity in Action

Schools are using a variety of practices to support military-connected students and their families. The videos below are educating public schools on promising strategies and programs that support military-connected students. The videos were created as part of a joint collaborative effort between Building Capacity, the Consortium of eight military-connected school districts and Command Media, a wounded warrior organization. These three-to-five minute videos encourage other schools to implement programs that assist military families through transitions, deployments and other challenges.
We have included the following videos addressing the various topics that are important to military families. Click on the title of each video to find out more and view the full video gallery here.
Children of the Deployed

Connection Corners-Dewey

Friendship Garden

San Onofre-Valentine's Day

Jefferson: Recognizing the Military Student

Temecula Military Appreciation Day Celebration

Partners at Learning (PAL)

Families OverComing Under Stress

Eagle's Nest

Free Resource Guides Now Available

For a limited time only, our four resource guides on supporting military children in public schools are now available for free from Teachers College Press at Columbia University. Each guide is based on research and written specifically for teachers, school administrators, pupil personnel, and parents. The books have been endorsed by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Military Child Education Coalition and leading experts in education, social work, and psychology. Each guide can be used as a text in university and school district training programs and outlines how school professionals and parents can create a supportive school setting that helps military children thrive.


The books focus on practical strategies that can be implemented to make students feel welcome and connected. Educators, school districts, universities, and school liaison officers are already using many of the strategies highlighted to create supportive school settings for military children.

Follow this link to view ordering information for all four guides. For a detailed description of each guide, follow this link.

Building Capacity is a partnership between eight military-connected school districts and USC. Funded by a grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), the project is creating sustainable and replicable infrastructures for data-driven models of responsive and supportive schools. Staff, students, and parents are being empowered to use evidence to improve school climate for military students.


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